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Trey Gunn - The Joy of Molybdenum CD (album) cover


Trey Gunn

Eclectic Prog

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Dan Bobrowski
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Of the Trey Gunn catalogue, this is the best he's got. Touch guitar enthusiasts or people wanting to find out about this innovative instrument would be wise to begin here. Trey's Warr Guitar approach features interesting textures, total Frippian lead lines and frenzied attacks while maintaining some smooth ambient backgrounds and thrumming bass grooves. The great use of percussive instruments by Bob Muller and an eastern flavor to the tracks. Tabla, bandir, darbouka, bodhran, gamelon drum, rik, metals, shakers are used to compliment the traditional drum kit. Bob Muller should be better known to the music world. Guitarist Tony Geballe is from the Fripp school of guitar, is a perfect foil to Trey's work. Inspired, spot on fills and energetic leads make this an important recording for cementing this instrument and it's remarkable player in the musicians "Hall of Fame."

PS: check out Geballe's solo twelve string album, "Native of the Rain." It's not prog, it's just beautiful.

Report this review (#28873)
Posted Friday, March 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Trey Gunn is probably best known to members of this site as a member of King Crimson for 10 years (from Thrak to The Power To Believe), and fans of his work with KC and associated projeKcts will find much to enjoy on this album. As Danbo mentioned, Tony Geballe is an alumnus of Fripp's guitar craft courses and can be heard on the League of Crafty Guitarist's Show of Hands, so there's a strong Fripp/Crimso influence pervading much of this CD.

If the sound is often familiar, the style is often surprisingly different. This is in part down to Bob Muller's extensive use of ethnic percussion instruments, in particular the Bendir and Darbouka, which are used extensively in North African and Middle Eastern music. This takes Gunn and Geballe into exotic rhythmic territory, and they in turn sometimes explore Middle Eastern modes and scales on their instruments. The whole thing gives the impression of a King Crimson ProjeKct recorded in a souk somewhere in Morocco or Tunisia - gentle washes of Frippertronic sound underpin frenetic dervish percussion, or interlocking Discipline style guitars play musical patterns that would more normally be associated with the oud. Geballe's occasional use of saz and acoustic guitar adds to the general feel of a successful cross cultural fusion, while there are also passages using drum kit and electric guitar to remind us that these guys are rock musicians at the top of their game. Last but not least, this album showcases the remarkable potential of the WARR guitar in the hands of a truly accomplished player - the range of the instrument means that Gunn is able to play bass and lead lines simultaneously and trade dizzying licks with Geballe - the end of Gate of Dreams gives the Fripp/Belew partnership a run for their money.

This is an excellent album of adventurous instrumental music which mostly avoids pointless noodling and self indulgence. Highly recommended to lovers of the adventurous and exotic.

Report this review (#40041)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Released as "The Trey Gunn Band", this album "The Joy of Molybdenum" sees guitarist Tony Geballe team up with the duo Trey Gunn/Bob Muller. The result is a fully instrumental rock album with long guitar solos, good bass lines and all sort of percussive instruments that give life to the music.

With the opener "The Joy of Molybdenum", it is clear that it's gonna be much heavier than the previous albums. Things slow down a bit with "Rune Song : The Origin Of Water" and "Untune the Sky" before the oriental frenzy of "Sozzle". "Brief Encounter" is the track that is closest to the music of the ProjeKcts, but it is played in an oriental fashion. "Tehlikeli Madde" ends the album with a touch of acoustic guitars.

Rating: 70/100 (good)

Report this review (#75596)
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is VERY similar to what you would hear on a ProjeKct album. The only differance is that this music is alot more organized, more ethnically diverse, and alot easier on the ears.

I'm a huge fan of Crimson, but I have to admit that the Projekcts were awefully hard to listen too. It was incredibly chaotic, but it had its moments of incredibly beauty and awesome sound. This album takes those awesome, beautifull moments and eliminates the chaotic improv.

The Warr touch guitar is one of the most fasctinating instruments ever made. Trey Gunn is a master of using this instrument to its fullest potential. He weaves intricate bass lines and plays wonderfully beautifull solos simultaneously. There are plenty of Frippertronics and you can detect quite a few moments where Robert Fripp's talent has influenced Trey's style.

Along with the intricate melodies that Trey Gunn composes, the other two band members contribute quite a bit of interesting music. The drums and percussion have alot of African influences and it creates a very cool blend with the occasional middle eastern guitar lines from Tony Geballe.

The album starts off with alot of creativity and there are tons of spots where you just sit in awe wondering "How can they come up with stuff that sounds this good?". Then with each song, the album grows more and more interesting. This is afantastic album that gets better and better with each listen. I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys instrumental music, Robert Fripp, or King Crimson. This is deffinately worth checking out. If you have never heard Trey Gunn's work, this is the best place to hear him. You won't be disappointed.

It's somewhat hard to find, but you can order the album off of Trey Gunn's website for a reasonable price.

Report this review (#126330)
Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars An instrumental delight highly recommended to Crimson fans as well as any seeking some a unique, experimental listening experience which fits well into the background for various tasks but could easily demand active listening for its sonic experimentation and well-played grooves.

Fans of modern KC will feel right at home here with Gunn's use of bass and effects, sometimes coming across (along with guitar collaborator Geballe) very Frippian. Gunn displays his compositional smarts throughout, never dominating the field with his dexterous touch-bass. The result is a fine mix of dreamy/nightmarish atmospheres with occasional outbursts of frantic, electric sounds. Percussionist Muller adds the finishing touches to this album though, incorporating numerous ethnic drums, shakers, noise makers, etc. which gives 'Molybdenum' a very mystic feel.

All in all, one of the more intriguing instrumental albums in my collection, with heaps of terrific grooves and sounds.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: NA Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#165050)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Trey Gunn is playing usual music there - instrumental prog-rock with very specific "cold" sound of all instruments. The Band consists of additional guitarist and drumer, near Gunn himself.

Strong bass line, "cold" drums/ rhytms, often african, plenty of electronic soun effects. The dirrence with previous albums is mainly in sound : the space around main instruments are full of noises and electronic effects, sometimes dreamy, kind of ambient soundscapes, sometimes doomy, almost depresive.

There are less space for quitar extravaganza, music is well balanced. But in our time of faceless neo-prog clones, this album sounds as fresh air. I think it will be interesting for Gunn/KC (later yeras) fans, as well as for proggers searching some new roads in their music.

Report this review (#236612)
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I'm pretty sure the first time I heard about Trey Gunn was when I was going through some of KING CRIMSON's later albums. He's known for his innovative playing on those Warr guitars.The band here is a trio of Trey who also plays mellotron, theremin, smokey guitar and short wave.Tony Geballe plays a variety of guitars including a saz (I have no idea). And Bob Muller plays drums, percussions, tablas, shakers and a bunch of ethnic instruments i've never heard of before. So yes the sound here does have a Middle Eastern flavour with lots of atmosphere and it's all instrumental.Very intricate and percussive sounding.

"The Joy Of Molybdenum" has some impressive percussion early on. I'm not sure what all i'm hearing here but sounds come and go. It settles some after 3 minutes before kicking back in late. "The Glove" opens with atmosphere as faint sounds build. It kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes with intricate yet powerful sounds. "Hord Winds Redux" features touch guitar and many other sounds throughout. "Rune Song : The Orgin Of Water" has some cool atmosphere early with sparse percussion. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes and contrasts continue.The guitar is angular late. "Untune The Sky" features percussion and atmosphere. It gets pretty intense then it calms down late to end it.

"Sozzle" has so much going on. Very intricate then it settles down before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice bass here too. It kicks back in before 4 minutes. Nice. "Gate Of Dreams" opens with drums, percussion, bass and touch guitar.This sounds so good. How intricate is this after 4 1/2 minutes ! "Brief Encounters" is kind of haunting with mellotron. Percussion, guitar and shakers come in. Lots of atmosphere still. A very cool track. "Thelikeli Madde" again has atmosphere galore then this strummed guitar (I don't think it's a guitar) comes in followed by a calm 1 1/2 minutes in. It starts to build 2 minutes in then that strummed instrument is back with angular guitar helping out.

I like this a lot if only because it's different. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#407055)
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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